2017 Fiscal Year State Budget, NC Budget and Tax Center

No major positive changes for Natural and Economic Resources in Senate budget proposal

The Natural and Economic Resources section of the Senate Budget does not make any major positive changes to address the environmental or economic challenges facing the state. The level of support for struggling rural communities remains largely unchanged from last year, appropriations for small business services offered through The Support Center would be eliminated, and a number of vacant environmental oversight and enforcement positions would be cut. Despite some additional funds for specific areas of need, the overall budget will not level the economic playing field or ensure that North Carolinians are protected from environmental hazards.

Agriculture and Consumer Services

  • Increased funding for forest fire equipment purchases: $3 million in additional non-recurring appropriation to Forest Service to purchase airplane and heavy forest fighting equipment, bringing total FY 2016-17 appropriation to $39.1 million.
  • Increase export marketing of NC agricultural products: Transfers $180,000 from Swine Waste Fund, and appropriates $500,000 in non-recurring funds to Marketing Division to promote North Carolina agricultural products overseas.
  • Increases funding for military buffer land purchases: $1 million increase to Farmland Preservation Trust Fund to purchase lands surrounding military bases, bringing total FY 2016-17 appropriation to $3.6 million.

Department of Environmental Quality

  • Eliminates several vacant positions: Several positions that are currently vacant are eliminated.
  • Transfers funds from Mercury Pollution Prevention Account to Division of Waste Management: $2.5 million in existing balance in the Mercury Pollution Prevention Account is used to offset reduced General Fund appropriation to the Division of Waste Management.

Department of Environmental and Natural Resources

  • Restores various fee and tax transfers following continuation review: Funds transferred to the Division of Air Quality, Water and Air Quality Account, Commercial Leaking and Underground Storage Tank Fund, and Boating Safety Account are restored following a continuation review

Department of Commerce

  • Eliminates funding for the Support Center: Eliminates all $2.5 million in state funding for the Support Center, which provides loans and assistance to small business. House budget had continued state support for the Support Center.
  • Johnston County public infrastructure for economic development: Appropriates $6 million in non-recurring funds to support public infrastructure and wastewater treatment facilities. Funds limited to use in support of economic development projects in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and telecommunications industries located in the Johnston County Research and Training Zone. Generally, appropriations with this level of specificity about eligible uses are targeted for an already identified economic development project.
  • Increases funds to promote the High Point Market: Increases recurring state appropriations to the High Point Market Authority by $400,000, bringing total state appropriation for FY2016-17 to $1.6 million.

Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

  • Increases funding for Clean Water Management Trust Fund: Budgets $5 million in additional non-recurring funds, bringing the trust fund total FY 2016-17 appropriation to $18.8 million.
  • Zoo and Aquarium Funds: Establishes a $1.5 million transfer from the General Fund to the Zoo Fund, and $2.8 million to the Aquarium Fund.

Check Also

Those federal COVID-19 checks: What they mean and who might get left out

Odds are, you’re probably wondering when the direct ...

State and Federal COVID-19 policy updates

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Error

State and local officials have been forced to improvise in an effort to feed hundreds of thousands o [...]

On any given week prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of people went in and out of the Wake Co [...]

Controversial conservative cites family duties, but evidence indicates other board members forced hi [...]

Mysterious cases of rare cancers have baffled North Carolina health officials, but incomplete data, [...]

RSS Error: http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/category/articles/originalcommentary/feed is invalid XML, likely due to invalid characters. XML error: Invalid character at line 68, column 35